Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund close to agreeing deal for Newcastle United takeover

(Football news) Mike Ashley’s 14 year tumultuous reign as Newcastle United’s owner could come to an end after an agreement was reached between beIN and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, resolving a long-standing issue regarding illegal streaming of Premier League football. The Qatar based sports platform has been banned from broadcasting in Saudi Arabia for nearly four and a half years as part of a diplomatic dispute but that is soon about to end.

As a part of this agreement, Saudi Arabia has also agreed that it will cease streaming Premier League games illegally via beoutQ and allow beIN to broadcast the fixtures they are legally entitled to. In addition, beIN Sports is currently in talks for a potential £400 million deal to broadcast Premier League games in the Middle East and North Africa for the subsequent future.

Approval from the Premier League could come in 24 hours after a consortium proved that the club would not be controlled by the Saudi state. Instead, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will provide 80% of the £300m which would thereby pass the Premier League owners and directors test.

Back in 2020 a deal had been agreed between Newcastle United and their buyers which included Staveley's PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers. However, they chose to walk away after the Premier League offered arbitration to settle the disagreement about who would control the club. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on the chair of the Public Investment Fund and if a possible deal is completed, we can expect another powerhouse in England’s top flight.

With Manchester City owned by the City Football Group already having owners based in the Middle East, Newcastle United could become the second Premier League club to have a similar change in fortune if/when the takeover is completed. A majority of Newcastle fans are in favor of a potential takeover as the club are currently without a win so far with calls for the resignation of manager Steve Bruce.

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